Now in its fourth year, the annual 15/15 cricket festival returned to Cargilfield after the past two years down in Sedbergh and then over at Merchsiton last year, and for once we were blessed with the most gloriously warm sunny day – just perfect for playing cricket and evoked memories of summers long ago when prep school cricket always seemed to be played in warm sunshine! The first game of the day saw the 1stXI up against Sedbergh, and on winning the toss, Harry and Todd opened the batting and in the face of some fast accurate bowling, had to play with great patience and skill to survive, and kept the scoreboard ticking over with singles. They put on 64 runs in 11 overs before Harry had to retire having reached 25, and with a few lusty blows in the final couple of overs we reached 76-2 in our 15 overs. A fine effort indeed. We probably left six singles out there, and in the final reckoning, this would prove crucial!
In reply, Sedbergh were 12-2 after four overs after an excellent spell by Marcus, and then 35 for 4 after some probing off spin from Harry. Then the large Sedbergh skipper batted very well, scoring 29 off 16 balls before he had to retire on reaching 25; 69-5 became 75-6 and they needed 2 runs off the final over; another wicket fell, then a quickly scrambled two runs to get over the line. A very exciting finish and Sedbergh scraped home with three balls remaining. What a game of cricket and the 1stXI played very well indeed to almost snatch victory. As I said, we left a few singles out there when batting, a couple of catches went down and a couple of balls slipp[ed through the legs in the field: small margins indeed! However, a great start to the day.
In the second game, Sedbergh scored 90 and bowled Merchiston out for 30 as we then wished our visitors from Cumbria safe travels home. The final game of the day saw the Cargilfield side up against Merchiston, and winning the toss and batting first, we changed the batting order round and were soon 11-2. This brought the two Harrys together and they proceeded to dig in and bat very sensibly indeed, scoring 46 runs in a partnership which lasted 7 overs, putting us back in control and the sharp running between the wickets really did frustrate the Merchi bowlers which was good to see. Findlay then joined Harry A with licence to hit it and he did so, before Freddie came in at the end and scored 15no off 7 balls to take us to 94 for 7. An excellent performance indeed and a total which would take some chasing down.
We swapped the bowling order around and it was great to see Todd and William taking wickets and growing in confidence too; Todd grabbed three wickets in one over, and William grabbed a couple as Merchiston found it hard to get the ball away and keep up with the rate. We got two terrific run outs which was great to see and in the end we won by 11 runs and fully deserved the win. What a pit our regular game against Merchiston yesterday had fallen victim to the morning rain!
All in all, a lot learned today and I was delighted with the performances we put in. The highlight for me was Harry and Todd’s batting first up against a strong Sedbergh attack: real grit and determination with good technique on show to battle it out. There is a lot of promise amongst this group of boys and we look forward to the rest of the season now!